Blood Service Project in Thailand
With the support of the Finnish Red Cross, a new regional centre of the Thai Red Cross Blood Service has been established. As a result, hospitals in Phuket and the surrounding region are now better able to provide the blood transfusions needed by patients. The project between FRC and Thai Red Cross concerns long-term assistance and provides an excellent example for regional blood services both in Thailand and elsewhere in Southeast Asia.
Phuket Blood Centre secures blood supply availability to hospitals
Chairat Gearsakul is an experienced blood donor. He donates blood usually every three months. In August 2009, Chairat was one of the first to arrive at Phuket’s regional blood centre to donate blood.
“I have seen many accidents where people need blood. Blood donation is important to my country”, says Chairat.
Chairat Gearsakul was among the first to donate blood at Phuket’s new regional blood centre. Photo: Taru Tuohiniemi.
Phuket’s regional centre serves the hospitals of the nearby provinces. Blood products are produced at the centre and delivered to hospitals based on their orders. People can donate blood at the Phuket centre or to the mobile blood service.
“Maybe one day I will need blood myself. This is why we need to donate blood today”, Chairat says.
Blood shortages eased
The Red Cross is involved in blood services in many countries, including Thailand. Following the tsunami, the Finnish Red Cross and the Thai Red Cross started a joint project to build a blood service centre equipped with modern technology in Phuket and to start an entirely new way of working with hospitals.
Vichote Burapachanok is happy with Vachira hospital’s new cold storage facilities. Photo: Taru Tuohiniemi.
Vichot Burapachanok is director of Vachira Hospital Blood Bank in Phuket. After the tsunami the Finnish Red Cross presented the hospital’s blood centre with up-to-standard cold storage facilities for blood and arranged for expert assistance and training. Burapachanok greets Phuket’s new blood centre as a welcome improvement.
“We sometimes run short on blood, and there is not always enough even in back-up storage. The new regional blood centre in Phuket has improved the situation. It coordinates and supports the hospital blood banks. The patients benefit when enough blood is available”, he says.
An excellent example of regional cooperation
The purpose of Phuket’s regional blood centre is to collect sufficient amounts of blood for delivery to the region’s hospitals. The Thai Red Cross and the country’s hospitals are now working together in a new way, thanks to the project. The model for regional blood services created by the project serves as an example for other areas in Thailand and other countries of Southeast Asia.
Phuket regional centre arranges blood donation campaigns, processes donated blood into blood products and delivers the products to hospitals for patient care. Photo: Papangkorn Teshinrungruang.
The project to establish the regional centre was directed by Finnish blood-services experts, who also trained and instructed the personnel. The expertise and know-how of the Finnish Red Cross Blood Service was of major significance for Thailand. Marko Lahikainen, head of construction with the Finnish Red Cross Blood Service summarises the results of the work:
“People can come here to donate blood in safe conditions. The personnel are well trained and the equipment is modern. Most important for those receiving donated blood, of course, is that it is safe and always available.”